Yes, there are Marvel and DC characters hitting cinemas (and TV screens) in 2016 but they get enough coverage. Here’s 10 films we’re looking forward to that don’t feature a comic book hero…
10. Finding Dory (Andrew Stanton)
UK Release Date: July 29
It’s Pixar – what more do we want! In the sequel to one of the animation studio’s greatest movies, Finding Dory takes place six months after when the infinitely forgetful Dory suddenly recalls her childhood memories. This deep-sea “road movie” sees her set off on a trek to find her family with Nemo and Marlin by her side.
9. Passengers (Mortem Tyldum)
UK Release Date: Dec 23
After the exciting Norwegian thriller Headhunters and expertly constructed British drama The Imitation Game, director Mortem Tyldum’s stock has significantly risen. In Passengers he gets the biggest budget he’s ever had to work with and two of Hollywood’s most bankable stars (Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt). While details remain sketchy, we know that the film’s two stars find themselves alone on a spaceship travelling to a planet as part of a colonisation exercise. When one passenger is awoken early, he decides to wake another to keep him company. Billed as a romance we can expect less Silent Running and a little more of the one-on-one camaraderie of Gravity. What we do know is that Lawrence had to get drunk to film a love scene with Pratt!
8. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Tim Burton)
UK Release Date: TBA
There’s plenty of promise in Tim Burton’s latest film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children based on the novel by New York Times Best Seller author Ransom Riggs. Riggs’ source novel fits perfectly with Burton’s gothic oeuvre but it’s the combination of screenwriter Jane Goldman and director Burton that is perhaps most interesting. So far, Goldman’s quirky, darkly comic work has been predominantly brought to life by collaborator Matthew Vaughn in films such as Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Stardust while she also achieved success with The Woman In Black which was directed by James Watkins. To make the film even more alluring is the presence of the gorgeous, talented actress Eva Green as Miss Peregrine.
7. Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier)
UK Release Date: May 13
Having received plenty of praise during its many festival outings during 2015, Green Room from writer-director Jeremy Saulnier (who received critical acclaim for his crowdfunded 2013 thriller Blue Ruin) sees a punk band stuck in a concert venue after a murder takes place. Throw into the mix a group of fanatical white supremacists and you set the stage for some high stakes indie drama. The film stars Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots and Patrick Stewart.
6. Midnight Special (Jeff Nichols)
UK Release Date: April 15
Take Shelter filmmaker Jeff Nichols is reunited with Michael Shannon for Midnight Special in what the writer-director calls a “sci-fi chase film” inspired by John Carpenter’s Starman. So far in his career, Nichols has worked outside the studio system, delivering such cult hits as Mud starring Matthew McConaughey. Midnight Special is his first studio film and promises to be a fast-paced drama featuring some terrific acting talent including up-and-comer Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst, Jole Edgerton and the ever-dependable Sam Shepard.
5. Silence (Martin Scorsese)
UK Release Date: TBA
No release date yet but Scorsese’s latest film is expected to appear sometime in 2016. Like with anything Scorsese does, expectation is understandably high. Silence is an adaptation of Japanese author Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel which was recipient of the Tanizaki Prize, one of the country’s highest accolades for works of literary fiction. The critically acclaimed book has been described by literary academics as “one of the twentieth century’s finest novels”, fictionalising Endo’s experience of religious discrimination in his homeland. The film, starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson, follows the story of two Jesuit Portuguese Catholic priests who face persecution when travelling through Japan spreading the teachings of Christianity.
4. The Witch (Robert Eggers)
UK Release Date: March 11
Horror fans should be excited for this Sundance Film Festival hit from debutant Robert Eggers. The trailer suggests folkloric hysteria in 17th century New England and an unnerving atmosphere as a reclusive family unit begins to break down under the spell of witchcraft. Widely reviewed following its festival premiere a year ago, Rotten Tomatoes sums up critics’ thoughts as: “The Witch delivers a deeply unsettling exercise in slow-building horror that suggests great things for debuting writer-director Robert Eggers.”
3. The B.F.G (Steven Spielberg)
UK Release Date: July 22
The director’s recent Bridge of Spies is the grown-up side of Spielberg but he’s a kid at heart and his best work aside from Jaws (E.T., Close Encounters of the Kind, Indiana Jones) has a childlike innocence that captures the imagination. There’s very little not to get excited about Spielberg adapting one of Roald Dahl’s most loved stories.
2. Hail, Caesar (Coen Bros.)
UK Release Date: Feb 26
The Coen brothers rarely disappoint. Hail Caesar sees them working with one of their favourite actors George Clooney in what promises to be their best comedy since O Brother Where Art Thou (which also starred Clooney).
1. The Nice Guys (Shane Black)
UK Release Date: June 3
The brilliant Shane Black co-writes and directs this comic thriller starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. The Lethal Weapon writer has been on sparkling form in recent years since turning his attentions to directing with Iron Man 3 and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang proving his talent for sparkling acerbic dialogue, pitch black humour and memorable characters. The Nice Guys, which arrives in UK cinemas in the summer, takes place in 1970s L.A. with Gosling playing a down-on-his-luck private eye who ends up working with a hired enforcer (Crowe) to solve a case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. Expect laughs, quirky one-liners and a bit of bloody violence.
Written and Compiled by Rory Fish
What films – other than the superhero movies – are you looking forward to in 2016?